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Balsillie's game plan banks on legal faceoff

Globe and Mail Update

In first interview since bankruptcy filing, RIM co-CEO says his team is putting an 'amazing proposal' before Arizona judge ...Read the full article

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  1. Terry Quinn from Canada writes: lets hope he gets the franchise and moves it to where Hockey is appreciated. Bettman be damned
  2. Philip Ladouceur from United States Outlying writes: Watching the Carolina and Pittsburgh games tonight, the Maple Leafs do not belong in the NHL. They are a bunch of hacks!!
    Poor management , ownership that does not care about the fans, etc.,.
    Look at the development of the Carolina team, led by Paul Maurice, the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim, Washington, and you bgin to understand how bad the Leafs are.
    Hope that Balsillie is sucessfil in freeing us from the Leafs market domination, and the Maple Leafs.
  3. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: This guy has faced gawd knows how many lawsuits regarding his product, and has paid them off or fought them. The product has taken on all comers and has largely beaten them back. His only worry is that the word 'Blackberry' could become as common to describe a mobile e-mail and communication device the same as 'Kleenex' is used for facial tissues.

    We've had quite a number of these stories to comment on previously, but I think Balsillie's strategy is this (which I have posted before)

    NHL: This franchise was awarded to Phoenix and should stay here.
    Judge: Was this a new franchise?
    NHL: No, it was moved from Winnipeg
    Judge: Why?
    NHL: It wasn't making money so it was moved here.
    Judge: It's filed for bankruptcy, it hasn't made money and there is an offer to buy and move it. Why is that now unacceptable to the NHL?
    NHL: Because it is the current Commissioner's plan to ignore places where teams could make money in an effort to 'grow the game' where people don't care about it and to provide them with a product they don't want.
    Judge: (jaw-dropping speechless).

    Is it true Bettman's degree in Law was from the Ministry of Silly Walks?

    Prost
  4. Alex Black from New York, United States writes: Hmm... Balsillie and I are from the same city. Cool.

    I would love it if the courts in Arizona tell Bettman to shove it. It would make my day...
  5. Rollie Beethoven from Canada writes: Go for it Mr. Balsillie' we need a second team!
  6. Barb dp in Ottawa from Canada writes: Good luck to Mr. Basillie! He is a successful savie businessman who is on the record on making money. He obviously loves hockey and is a crazy Canuck to boot. These ingredients blend together to make an extremely viable franchise. Go get 'em bro!!
  7. John Doe from Canada writes: His only worry is that the word 'Blackberry' could become as common to describe a mobile e-mail and communication device the same as 'Kleenex' is used for facial tissues.
    ----

    Not to get side tracked, but that is actually a huge worry for a company. Thermos is just one example of a brand name that became so successful that the name Thermos was used to refer to all containers rather than just the products of the Thermos company. Eventually a court ruled that competitors could use the word 'thermos' to describe their products.
  8. Costas Piliotis from Canada writes: What I find more interesting is that the NHL left someone in charge who had no authority over the franchise.
  9. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Scenarioizing'???? 'Anticipatable'?????? I have seen or read JB being interviewed a few times, and I have always come away with a curious vibe. I still recall the interview that he did with George Strombolopolous on CBC a year or two ago (during the Nashville crisis). He was asked about his plans for RIM and what would happen if another gadget came along as a strong competitor to the blackberry (a better mousetrap, if you will). His response, straight from his ultra-sharp billionaire mind? A goofy grin and a short, inarticulate response to the effect of 'oh well, I guess we go under'. It is on Youtube; check it out sometime. I know the conventional wisdom about JB is that he is this business whiz, but I just don't know. As strange as it may sound, IMO sometimes there is such a thing as an accidental billionaire. Sometimes, when you hook yourself up with a certified genius like Mike Lazardus who has developed a product that perfectly captures the zeitgeist of our times, you can become a billionaire almost in spite of yourself. Heck, you can even screw up a simple licensing dispute that you could have settled for a few million and wind up costing your company $600 million, and STILL become a billionaire simply because your genius friend's gadget is just that good. Of course, if you try to buy an NHL team and show your complete lack of business chops by proceeding in the most hamhanded manner possible in full view of the public, you might be exposed, but then again maybe not, so long as you 'scenarioize' it. If he is truly a superstar businessman, I swear he has the most amazing imitation of being a complete buffoon that I have ever seen (even more amazing than his 'amazing proposal').
  10. Chris Henry from Ottawa, Canada writes: Thanks Jim! Bring one back home for us!
  11. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: John Doe - that's why I mentioned it, there is a lot of investment in branding a product, but you have to keep it as the best or you risk others building on your success.

    This doesn't seem to be a problem for Bettman's enterprise.
  12. North Star from Canada writes: I have not had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Balsillie and hope to do so one day so that I can stop disliking this man for no reason.
  13. Shiyam Pillai from Mississauga, Canada writes: I know Canadians would love for another team in Canada but I think it will be a mistake.

    As it is the profits of Canadian teams drove the salary cap higher and led to many problems for US teams.

    Add another team to the mix? Might as will drive FLA, TB, ATL and NYI to bankrupcy too.

    I'm surprised that a 'business whiz' like Balsillie would be so amateur in his attempts to buy a NHL club. The NHL isn't free market enterprise, eh? It's a private business club. Entry only by invitation.

    He could have had his team in Hamilton had he simply bought a US team, taken losses for a couple of years and then moved to Canada.
  14. Jah Nee Kah Sun from Canada writes: Best of luck to Balsillie in bringing the Coyotes to Ontario.
  15. Bot Mark from Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter, you seem to think JB is Forrest Gump. Just because he's not willing to bare all in a public interview does not make him an idiot. Just because someone is not smooth on television does not mean they are an incompetent buffoon.

    In fact he's probably the opposite and playing his cards close to his vest.

    Please name some 'accidental billionaires', and not the ones who inherited their money.
  16. Steve Church from Canada writes: As the article states, this was a long-prepared plan to sabotage and circumvent the NHL. Wish him all the well you want, but understand full well you've agreed to be part of the conspiracy. Be ready to trade the problems in Phoenix for the problems in Buffalo. Similarly be aware that cities being pressured to build the next arena ... may cite Phoenix as a case where the NHL commitment to stay had no value. Btw - Winnipeg andl Quebec City didn't move because they weren't making money. The League payrolls were expanding, and neither franchise could deliver what Phoenix could - a new arena.
  17. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Bot mark, i agree with you that a lack of smoothness on TV is not a sign of being a buffoon. Using made-up words in a serious business interview IS, though, at least in my view. You are welcome to your own view. I was not talking about baring all in an interview, either. He quite evidently has no strategy beyond the blackberry. As for accidental billionaires, just go back to the dot-com days of the late 90's and early 2000's. You will find a raft of them. You will also find more than a few accidental centimillinaires hanging out as empty suits on Wall Street.
  18. OilerFan from from Canada writes: The NHL needs more billionaire owners and less ignorant people in the league's front office.
  19. Zoe Morrow from Canada writes: I don't think Balsillie will manage to buy the Coyotes and won't be able to bring them to Ontario either. He doesn't have enough cash for one thing. The NHL will not go along with this. And I sort of don't blame them either. This rich guy walks in, thinks he can buy everything and relocate the team which is based in Arizona. Well, what would you feel if someone swooped in and bought the Leafs and moved them to Santa Fe?
  20. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Steve Church from Canada writes: Btw - Winnipeg andl Quebec City didn't move because they weren't making money. The League payrolls were expanding, and neither franchise could deliver what Phoenix could - a new arena.' Steve, i understand your point, but people should not be deceived - those teams WERE losing money by the bucketload, particularly Winnipeg. I understand that what you are probably saying is that the arena was a root problem for that, and that is partially true, although again on Winnipeg's part the fans did not show up in great numbers, either. i fully agree with all of your other points.
  21. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Actually Shiyam Pillai from Mississauga that is exactly why this might be the best time to move a couple teams back to Canada.

    Both Hamilton and Winnipeg (more so) have NHL ready rinks. The increase in revenue from those two teams would offset the loss of income in some of the American rinks.

    The balance would probably keep the cap where it is rather than having it go down by as much as 10m (worst forecast) in 2010/2011.

    Also it would be removing two of the havenots from the NHL.... reducing equalization payments.

    Your premise (one I shared btw) was valid when the cap was going up.

    Cheers
  22. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter;

    I am new to Winnipeg so by no means and expert on what transpired 12 years ago.

    From what I understand .... the Jets weren't bleeding money. Neither were the Nordiques.

    The final year the Jets were in Winnipeg... everybody knew they were gone. Everybody knew it was their last season.... the only bad year they ever had financially.

    Both Winnipeg and Quebec city needed new arenas.... with corporate boxes, in order to compete in the then new NHL. They couldn't keep their stars. Edmonton and Calgary came very very close to the same demise.

    New Owners with deep pockets could not be found in either city and
    new government paid for arenas were not in the cards.

    Both Edmonton and Calgary had newer and better arenas (notice Bettman is working on those being replaced).

    Hard choices were made.

    Pittsburgh almost lost their team for the same reason. Bettman is also working on the NYI situation. Moving the team is the key bargaining chip.

    Cheers
  23. bob london from Canada writes: Cdn w/ balz
  24. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: If Gary Bettman extended the same effort to all franchises in jeopardy, that would be fine. What bothers people, and rightly so, is the way he picks his spots arbitrarily.

    He is the opposite of what the NHL needs.

    Yes, we do know what we wish for. We have been wishing for it for a while now.
  25. Steve Church from Canada writes: Gerald, have you got any info anywhere on the financial buckets you're suggesting? Years ago, I was taken to task for such a suggestion - both franchises were in okay shape, but the new CBA and the direction meant it was new arena or they would be losing a lot. Here's one summary - and it's pretty much in line with the arena angle:- http://tinyurl.com/qcz49r
  26. Bot Mark from Canada writes: Gerald, nice to see that you have inside information on what RIM's strategy for the future is. You must be prescient. You call Mike Lazaridis the genius behind the operation but then why don't you fault HIM for RIM having no future strategy? Where is the consistency in your argument?

    I'll agree that there were a lot of people made rich during the dot com boom, not sure how many of those actually make it to billionaire status except for a notable few who are still around (e.g. founders of Ebay, Amazon, etc.). In that market a rising tide lifted all boats. RIM has made it on real business merit, not on hype.

    You also fault JB for paying $600 million to settle the licensing dispute when they could have paid less. They only could have paid less after they won a lengthy court battle. JB was advised to settle so that RIM could move forward with the Blackberry without the overhang of that litigation which surely would have impeded its acceptance in the marketplace.

    I'd love to continue debating with you but I'm going to bed.
  27. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Scot, I see you are still spreading your misinformed views. Here is where you are misinformed, just in that one post: 1. Hamilton has nowhere near an NHL-ready rink. Not even close, unless you think NHL arenas are dumps with no corporate suites (I live in the city). Arguably, neither does Winnipeg, due only to its size. 2. If Phoenix moved to TO and obtained revenues equal to the Leafs, the most lucrative team in hockey by about $40 million over the next best team, do you know how much the cap would be impacted? I will save you the math: about 3.5 percent, give or take. Given that it is highly improbable that any team would be THAT successful (and it is questionable to me whether a team in HAM would be successful at all), the actual impact on league revenues (and thus the cap) would be in the range of <2%. 3. The existence or removal of Phoenix would result in zero reduction of the amount revenue sharing. Read again:ZERO REDUCTION. In fact, assuming that a team in southern Ontario made more than Phoenix, it would actually result in MORE revenue sharing. Try reading the CBA sometime. 4. Your agreement on Shiyam Pillai's assertion that the cap was 'driven' by the CDN dollar is largely incorrect. If memory serves, i have gone over this with you, or in threads in which you have participated. The increase in the cap was less than one quarter due to the escalation in the exchange rate. I could go over the math with you, but I frankly don't now if you are up to it, and it is really not the topic of this thread.
  28. joe kelly from Canada writes: Zoe Morrow from Canada writes: 'Well, what would you feel if someone swooped in and bought the Leafs and moved them to Santa Fe? '

    Applaud. (Rather, I'd applaudorize).
  29. E. Thomas from Toronto, Canada writes: Shiyam Pillai from Mississauga, Canada writes: I know Canadians would love for another team in Canada but I think it will be a mistake.
    As it is the profits of Canadian teams drove the salary cap higher and led to many problems for US teams.
    Add another team to the mix? Might as will drive FLA, TB, ATL and NYI to bankrupcy too.

    You say that like it's a bad thing.
  30. Richard Jang from writes: Lol Scot got Gerald rattled. Avery would be impressed.
  31. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Bot mark, i have no inside information. I am going by JB's own statement, in addition to my assessment of his truthfulness in making that statement. You can make your own assessment. Go dig up the video on youtube and judge for yourself.

    Lazardis is the genius who developed the product. JB is the 'business guy'. Why would I fault the product developer for a lack of business strategy?

    i have no doubt that RIM made it on merit. I applauded their product above. My impression of JB is that he got lucky by hooking up with a guy with a fantastic product. i wasn't comparing RIM to the dot-com companies of that time. I am suggesting that they got hugely rich through little skill or acumen. you asked what other accidential billionaires there are; i answered your question.

    Regarding your refernce to the case, you are far off the mark. the plaintiff (NTP) won a judgment for US$23 million plus a royalty . He was going to settle for a lump sum thereafter but backed off. He then had to settle for US$612.5 million. This was after several turns before the court already.
  32. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'joe kelly from Canada writes: Applaud. (Rather, I'd applaudorize).'

    Joe, as the kids say, this post rules. Hard.
  33. joe kelly from Canada writes: PS. Uh Gerald, while you are correct in saying the patent infringement could have been settled for way less than $600 million ($150 million) to pin it all on JB and none of it on the 'genius' Lazaridis, is a ridiculation.

    Back to the topic at hand. 2 words: Al Davis. 2 more words: Oakland Raiders. Jim may be a 'lucky billionaire' (gosh, give me some of that mojo) but he obviously has some high quality talent on retainer. I think there is a 75% chance he prevails. Why? Because Canadians can always rely on a US judge to bring our corporate criminals to justice --- and our hockey teams home. I bet if JB wins, Daly gets jettisoned for his childish behaviour --- and Bettman changes his tune.
  34. jp6635 trojan from toronto, Canada writes: BLACKBERRIES 1 BRAINLESS BETTMENS 0 OT

    GOAL:::JIM BALSILLIE
    ASSIST:::CANADIAN HOCKEY FANS, HAMILTON

    PENALTY::::5 MINUTES BILL DAILY
    PENALTY::::10 MINUTES GARY BETTMAN
    PENALTY::::GAME MISCONUCT, MLSE
    PENALTY::::GAME MISCONDUCT, WAYNE GRETZKY FOR STAYING QUITE.

    ATTENDANCE:::: 18,000 AT COPPS
    BLACKBERRIES FARM TEAM, PHOENIX ROADRUNNERS

    SCHEDULE

    BLACKBERRIES VS JETS
    NORDIQUES VS BLACKBERRIES

    FARM TEAMS SCHEDULE
    WATERLOO JR BLACKBERRIES VS TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (FARM TEAM OF MONTREAL CANADIENS)

    MOST HATED GM IN NHL, BRIAN BURKE
  35. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Richard Jang from writes: Lol Scot got Gerald rattled. Avery would be impressed.' Rattled? I just gave the poster a face wash. What thread are you reading?
  36. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: I see Mr. Carpenter has decided to take on Mr. Loucks on this particular subject.

    Reading through Mr. Carpenter's post, it strikes me that there is no compelling reason to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix. The entire crux of the argument is the minimal benefits accruing to the league by a move to Hamilton, the main one being that the venue being contemplated to house the club is substandard (ignoring the commitment to build the corporate boxes vital to sustaining any sports franchise).

    While Mr. Carpenter goes through the math of salary caps and transfers, he does miss the point that we are discussing a sports franchise - not a gas distribution network. There is an intrinsic value of a city having a pro sports franchise which he ignores - I suspect this civic value to be much higher in Hamilton than Phoenix. The indication would be the sale of authorized merchandice - miniscule in the grand scheme, but an important indicator.

    I'm not convinced by Mr. Carpenter's plea to preserve the status quo and that Mr. Bettman has the interests of hockey supporters at heart.
  37. Gerald Carpenter from writes: joe kelly from Canada writes: ridiculation.

    Man, you are on fire.

    I am afraid the Davis/Raiders case really is not going to matter. (a) Having reviewed the documents and court filings, the NHL has a high probability of succeeding on the basis that Moyes had no autority to file for Ch XI. (b) The NHL constitution has passed legal muster in other cases, and it is materially different than the version of the NFL constitution relocation restrictions that were the subject of the Davis/Raiders case. As such, it is what we refer to in our business as 'distinguishable' from the present case.
  38. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter.. from I presume now Hamilton....

    Your last comment works for me... It isn't the topic of this thread.... and I am sick to death of the topic of this thread. Over 200 posts on another thread... half of them lawyers or wanna be lawyers.

    Meanwhile there is some great hockey going on.

    ----------------

    As to your rebuttal. Winnipeg arena (the MTS centre) can seat 15,000 for an NHL game. Big? No. Sold out every night? Yes. Makes money? With a bottom end salary cap expenditure? Yes. Would require a tier to be added in order to accommodate another 4000 seats. Try Manitoba myth busters dot com for a better financial overview on that one.

    Hamilton is the only other arena in Canada that with Reno's could accommodate an NHL team.

    Both of those are facts. Argue with those... don't just call me wrong and offer nothing else.

    -----------------

    As for the rest of your (argument?) dissertation. You are an idiot.

    If you remove a bottom feeder who sucks money out of the league... Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida etc. and replace it with a break even team. How on earth does that make the revenue sharing go up? It increases the amount that goes to the other bottom feeders... giving them an even better chance at survival... but it doesn't go up.

    Giving financial assistance to 3 teams instead of 6 would seem like a better investment to most people (other than you).

    btw; I never mentioned the Canadian dollar to Shiyam... maybe you are the one in need of reading and comprehension training.

    mouth piece.... try talking about hockey on the hockey threads instead of suggesting your business acumen is above others.
  39. joe kelly from Canada writes: I'm not convinced Hamilton is the right location either. 'For sure' Vaughan or Mississagua --- the GTA watershed --- and quite possibly Cambridge/Waterloo/Galt etc as it is growing. Hamilton (no offense intended) is a bit stagnant...
  40. sam kohen from Kingston, Canada writes: I suggest that people living in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal write to the tope executives of the NHL in their cities and demand that they insist to Mr Bettman that he immediately cease this stupid, idiotic and expensive lawsuit.

    Perhaps, some how, a petition to do so can be organized.

    Sam Kohen
    Kingston, Ontario
  41. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Mariposa, that is far from the crux of my argument. I was simply responding to an inaccurate statement by Mr. Loucks.

    There are many other, better reasons to deny the transaction, including a host of legal arguments upon which I could expound at great length.
  42. Steve Church from Canada writes: Copps is sub-standard. The City is ready to pitch in $150mil to bring it up to scratch. They want assurances if they do that he'll stay (Oh the irony in seeking that commitment). That's still an outstanding 'maybe' with Mr. Nice Guy. Franchises don't run on civic value - the numbers that run out for Hamilton are like GC builds. It'll be a big money sucker on the NHL from a bunch of angles: the hit on Buffalo, the revenue-sharing draw, and the poor draw in other cities. If push ever came down to shove, JB should buy the Buffalo Sabres, move them to Hamilton (with that commitment), and pay the Leafs their pound of slush.
  43. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter - simple question.

    Are you a lawyer?
  44. 5and man from Toronto, Canada writes: He's got at least 5 US NHL Teams to buy if this one fails.
  45. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Just to be clear.

    I don't want a team in Hamilton. I don't want a team anywhere near the Sabres.

    I would like to see Balsillie do the right thing and bring the team back to Winnipeg. Put a deal in place to stick around till they are viable and community owned... while he builds a rink in the KW Cambridge Guelph area.

    Then see the NHL do the right thing and take their next basket case and sell it to Balsillie to reside in the new arena.

    Cheers
  46. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Loucks: you still haven't learned anything from when I schooled you repeatedly on the Nashville threads. We are agreed on the MTS Centre, except for the 'filled every night' crapola that jetsowner churns out and mythbuster repeats. Winnipeg was not filled when the tickets were $12, and there is no evidence that they would be filled today. IMO. Come back when you have some evidence to the contrary that contradicts the history. With $150 million in reno's, Copps could be up to snuff, perhaps. That was not what you first said (you said 'NHL-ready'). If that is now your position, i have no issue. As to me being an idiot, you are as uninformed as you have always been. Here is a little lesson; I knew you would ask for it, so thanks for not disappointing me. Under the CBA, there is a minimum level for the revenue sharing pool (it is called the 'Minimum Redistribution Commitment'). It is set at 4.5% of league revenues. If revenues go up (as you suggest they would by switching PHO for HAM), the Minimum Redistribution Commitment would go up as well. More league revenues = more revenue sharing requirements. Clear now? As for Shiyam, I noted that he was incorrect, and noted your incorrectness for agreeing with him, as you did. You are outmatched, sir.
  47. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter - simple question. Are you a lawyer?'

    I am.
  48. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Steve Church from Canada writes: Copps is sub-standard. The City is ready to pitch in $150mil to bring it up to scratch. They want assurances if they do that he'll stay (Oh the irony in seeking that commitment).' The latest that i had read, Steve, was that our mayor had made it clear to JB that JB wold pay for any renovations. I think i had also heard that this was acknowledged by JB in his discussions with Hamilton.
  49. Steve Church from Canada writes: Sand Man - yea, that's another very slippery slope. What should be going on in this economic climate, with a broken CBA, is retrenchment. Instead, if the NHL business system is broken (and that's what it means), then franchises can move wherever they want. Some existing franchise, let's call it the Florida Panthers, could now announce they're losing too much money and are relocating to another location, let's call it Vaughn. Now there's four franchises within driving distance ... gee that should be 25% better for hockey, right? Ticket sales for the Vaughn Vandals should sell out at MSG in subj-seconds flat.
  50. Dane Treidler from Winnipeg, Canada writes: GO JETS GO!!!!
    the guillotine for Bettmen
  51. John Simmons from Canada writes: joe kelly from Canada writes: I'm not convinced Hamilton is the right location either. 'For sure' Vaughan or Mississagua --- the GTA watershed --- and quite possibly Cambridge/Waterloo/Galt etc as it is growing. Hamilton (no offense intended) is a bit stagnant...

    You have absolutely no empirical evidence about this. Nobody here does. I'm not saying Hamilton is the best spot because there's been no empirical evidence publicly disclosed for that either. However, it's been the closest of any city in southern Ontario to ever get a team (last round of 1990 expansion, which ultimately went to Ottawa) and it's where Balsillie has decided to put the team. So the point is moot.

    I would like to believe Balsillie, a savvy businessman, has done market research and deemed Hamilton the best spot. Don't forget, it's not just Hamilton city proper he's trying to grab. It is the centre of the Golden Horseshoe, so it can grab many large cities and suburbs.

    Please people, get some facts before you make baseless comments. Besides, Balsillie's not trying to convince you.
  52. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: Gerald - that is the fuel that fires this debate. There may be a host of legal reasons for the NHL to preserve their monopoly, but there is a need to respond to their consumers.

    It seems to me that the consumers are mighty riled at this point, something Mr. Balsillie is counting on, along with a judge dealing with another bankrupt corporation that has a generous suitor to pay off the locals. Unless the NHL comes up with the cash to pay off the creditors, my view is that the judge will find for Balsillie.

    Remember, the control of this franchise is not in the hands of Balsillie or the NHL. It's future rests in the hands of (I presume) an elected official whose ruling has the potential to shake the business of professional sport in North America.

    This is going to be one wild ride.

    Prost
  53. A K from Canada writes: Philip Ladouceur from United States Outlying writes: Watching the Carolina and Pittsburgh games tonight, the Maple Leafs do not belong in the NHL. They are a bunch of hacks!!
    Poor management , ownership that does not care about the fans, etc.,.

    ...

    Toronto fans shell out the cash by the truckload, which is part of the reason Balsillie is looking at Southern Ontario.

    Since when did a franchise need to win to be successful?
    ...
  54. Steve Church from Canada writes: Gerald, JB paying the upgrade costs lines up with the terms of the Nashville cycle. You'd be closer to what Mayor E insisted, but the reports line up with JB funding the upgrades. http://tinyurl.com/pw9yuv
  55. Gerald Carpenter from writes: Steve, are you agreeing with me or disagreeing regarding JB paying for the upgrades?
  56. Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Bettman privately looked for deep-pockets investors to take on the Coyotes. None of them, including Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, wanted anything to do with it.

    Talk nuts and bolts about the CBA, revenue sharing such all you want.
    The question is who wants to own the Phoenix Coyotes, in Phoenix or anywhere else in the USA.
  57. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Cowtown Guy from Canada writes: Bettman privately looked for deep-pockets investors to take on the Coyotes. None of them, including Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, wanted anything to do with it.'
    Cowtown guy, the NHL has received a letter of intent (the 'deal letter', iof you will) signed by Reinsdorf, and they were set to deliver it to Moyes on Tuesday. The court documents confirm this.
  58. Steve Church from Canada writes: Gerald - agreeing. JB funds the upgrades.
  59. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Ah... lawyer has my comments removed ... and now I get no post.

    Good...

    Power to the thieves.
  60. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: As I said before Mr. Lawyer.

    I wrote:

    Both Hamilton and Winnipeg (more so) have NHL ready rinks. The increase in revenue from those two teams would offset the loss of income in some of the American rinks.

    ...

    You had that removed. Lets hear what is incorrect in that statement.

    -----
  61. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: You going to have that one removed as well Gerry?

    Typical lawyer. Can't BS your way out of? It didn't happen.

    Lets hear some more of your legal advice Gerry.

    Lets go... you are a lawyer after all... just like most of our politicos... you know all.

    In your own minds anyway.
  62. joe kelly from Canada writes: John Simmons:

    If by 'empirical' you mean facts, then let's start with these from the Government of Ontario: 2001 to 2006 population growth --- York Region 22.2 percent; Peel, 22 percent; Halton 17 percent; Waterloo 9 percent; Hamilton --- 2.9 percent. Then examine per capita income and surprise! it mirrors the above (i.e. Hamilton last).

    So follow your own advice about not spewing baseless opinions.
  63. Chris Defend from Canada writes: I am certainly enjoying this battle of the titans. Infact, I think opportunities are ripe for JB this time around.

    Further, with the state of the US economy in a rut, it's possible that more franchises in that part of the US may be in trouble financially. It's only a matter of time before more owners will throw in the towel because it's really difficult to support a hockey franchise when people are terribly worried about the security of their jobs/ value of their homes etc and especially when the fan base is thin.

    The good ole days of easy money are over. The NHL will have to adjust to the new reality.
  64. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Hey Gerry...

    You still haven't responded to my post to Shiyam... another schooling? You said I was wrong because of the canadian dollar... which I never mentioned.

    Post at 11:25pm... lets go mouth piece... waiting on rebuttal to why that comment is wrong.
  65. Steve Church from Canada writes: Chris Defend - the Golden Horseshoe has been one of the hardest hit economies anywhere - http://www.thespec.com/article/558658 http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/video2/Jobtracker/JOBCUTS.html ... Hopefully the new growth industries are there, but there's no reason to prefer the economy of Hamlton over the economy of Phoenix, is there?
  66. Jeff Michaels from Toronto, Canada writes: JB looking like a cocky badass in that tux...I love it... Bettman is a butthead!!!
  67. all canadian all american from here or there, Canada writes:
    'RIM co-CEO says his team is putting an 'amazing proposal' before Arizona judge'

    This amazing proposal is being paid for by blackberry users worldwide, over 200 mil worth, hope you think its worth it for a hockey team.
  68. Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes: I believe Jim Balsillie has a winning hand here. Twice he played by the NHL/Bettman rules and has come away with an insight on how the League is run.

    Now he has taken the hammer away from Bettman and has handed it to an Arizona Judge. Bettman's only hope is to retreat to the bunker. The League's only hope is that the Governors step aside for the time being.

    The on ice stuff this season has been interesting (even if you support the Sens), but this latest off-ice stuff has ben riveting.

    Prost
  69. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Another post removed?

    Quoting the remover of my posts?

    Good stuff Mr. Lawyer... I guess your law degree scares the little editors.
  70. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter... where are you?

    Too busy with removing my rebuttals?

    Lets go Gerry ... School me some more.
  71. Scot Loucks from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Leaving now... I'm really pissed off Globe and Mail....
  72. R. S. from Sunnyvale, Canada writes: Good for your Mr. Balsillie. The NHL needs strong owners and franchises in strong markets. Southern Ontario is the strongest market which has been neglected for a number of years.

    Mr. Bettman should be ashamed of his actions. He is not acting in the best interests of the NHL, the NHL players and the fans overall. His opposition to Mr. Bettman is based on his own ego and his personal issues with Mr. Balsillie. Mr. Bettman, needs to admit his plan to have several teams in the sun belt is a failure, embrace Mr. Balsillie and move the Coyotes to Hamilton for the good of the league and most importantly the fans.

    If Mr. Bettman doesn't do this and can't be professional and act in the best interests in the league then the owners should do the right thing and replace him.
  73. R. S. from Sunnyvale, Canada writes: I am a big supporter of more teams in Canada.

    However, reading some of the comments on this forum is quite discouraging.

    It seems that many people are using it as a forum to aggressively debate and argue one and other. I find 95% of the comments negative and spitefully written towards other readers comments.

    I especially don't like the condescending comments from several laywers who seem to want to talk down to everyone and educate us.

    Get a life.
  74. dave sharpe from Canada writes: not so good for Balsillie, this is his third attempt at circumventing league rules, like the rules or not they exist,
  75. Steve Church from Canada writes: RS Sunny - Suntario already has two franchises, it hasn't been neglected. Bettman has nothing to be ashamed of in this matter - Ballsilie pearl harboured the NHL. Ballsilie declared war on the rules and the process. It was deliberate, and once the wrapping is off, it's an attempt to get a $400mil franchise for $200mil. The Sunbelt plan was the Owners, not Bettman. You might want to avoid the topic of condescending when you tell the League and Mr. Bettman what to do when they're being assaulted. From here it looks like you want a team in Hamilton ... the rest is just objections and obstacles to be removed.
  76. Chris Henry from Ottawa, Canada writes: Mariposa Belle from Leacockland, Canada writes:
    There is an intrinsic value of a city having a pro sports franchise which he ignores - I suspect this civic value to be much higher in Hamilton than Phoenix. The indication would be the sale of authorized merchandice - miniscule in the grand scheme, but an important indicator.

    I'm not convinced by Mr. Carpenter's plea to preserve the status quo and that Mr. Bettman has the interests of hockey supporters at heart.

    ============================

    Yeah! so in other words, Bettman is a jerk! Go Balsillie! We would have awesomized rivalries going in Ontario ;)

    Okay I'll go back to CBCSports now...
  77. D W from Switzerland writes: I agree with the big boost for Hamilton: it would join the Canadian pro sports mainstream, which is generally cities with NHL & CFL (Vancouver,Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, yesterday Winnipeg), and get continuous sports-media exposure;

    on the other hand, an arena farther out in the country without much city around it and just suburban commuter fans could work too;
    anyone ever go to the Landover Md. rink, when it was home to Washington Caps? there was really very little around there except the sports centre....
  78. R. S. from Sunnyvale, Canada writes: RS Sunny - Suntario already has two franchises, it hasn't been neglected. Bettman has nothing to be ashamed of in this matter - Ballsilie pearl harboured the NHL. Ballsilie declared war on the rules and the process. It was deliberate, and once the wrapping is off, it's an attempt to get a $400mil franchise for $200mil. The Sunbelt plan was the Owners, not Bettman. You might want to avoid the topic of condescending when you tell the League and Mr. Bettman what to do when they're being assaulted. From here it looks like you want a team in Hamilton ... the rest is just objections and obstacles to be removed. _____________________________________________________ As a reply to Steve Church, yes I would like to see a team in Hamilton. I think you are being a little dramatic and over the top by using pearl harbour references and saying that Basillie is assualting Bettman and the league. Come on, are you for real. He made an offer to buy a bankrupt team for way more than it is worth, all in cash. He wants a team and sees a market where it will be very successful. I have no problem with moving weak teams from failing markets with poor fan support to markets with fans and potential. Steve Church sounds more interested in arguing about legal dealings than an actual hockey fan. I think any hockey fan would be more than supportive to more teams in more traditional hockey markets; Hamilton being one of many that should be considered.
  79. caper241 caper241 from sydney NS, Canada writes: Amazing how we in North America are constantly fed the infallibility of the free market and how business must conform to the discipline of the market.Here we have a classic case of these market forces at work and the commisioner defending policies that fly in the face of such forces.The players have to cecede to these forces!Bettman is opening a real can of worms legally that may result in the application of anti trust laws that could be a nightmare for the NHL.Personally I don't like Bettman and the sooner his head is on a platter the better.The whole economy of the desert south west is a shamble.A hockey team competing for entertainment dollars in an area where hockey sits at the bottom of popularity among the major pro sporting leagues makes it impossible for such an entity to be financially successful.IMO these factors allow Mr.Balsillie and the owner of the franchise to strike a deal and then Balsille should be able to relocate the franchise to an area that will allow it to be a financial success.
  80. Pierre Santa Ana from Costa Rica writes: New rich boy wants his toy, better not get in his way.

    What about just shutting down the team? Isn't there too many? Has anyone thought of the effect of having Rich Boy join the league when no one wants him there?

    I find his strategy to be very weak. Fighting the league head to head like this doesn't bode well for it, more so if he wins and gets in.
  81. Jah Nee Kah Sun from Canada writes: Habs at Hamilton Coyotes...can't wait....

    HHHHHOOOOOWWWWWWLLLLLLL.

    How about another team in Quebec as well....and another in the West too...
  82. Carolyn Debnam from Toronto, Canada writes:
    There is a HUGE difference between wanting something to happen and what is written in LAW about this type of situation.

    The fact is, contractually, the NHL controls the Coyotes and all Teams in the League. Based on this legality, they claim Moyes doesn't have a right to claim bankruptcy.

    It's like of a franchisee of Tim Horton's decides he isn't making it.. declares bankruptcy and the person who takes over the debt can move that Tim Horton's to another city without Tim Horton's approval.

    Now the NHL also claims they DO have offers from Glendale residents to take over the Team..
    so I'd say.. this was Strike Three for Balsillie..
    as great as this could have been for Canada and hockey up here.

    ~
  83. Thomas Price from Whitefish, Canada writes: The education that individuals like JB have received (not in school obviously) has equipped them to know the thing to do and the timing to act on the thing. Almost all successful ventures have been initiated in exactly this manner. Whether JB has the business acumen to provide longevity to the venture is a moot point. Once the action has been initiated a number of individuals with the necessary acumen will appear on the scene and the longevity will happen. The stifling of people like JB has resulted in Ford, Chrysler, GM, Stelco, NHL type organizations no longer having personnel with sufficient vision to move forward. I say let him have his head and everyone will benefit. He has my best wishes.
  84. Woody Forrest from Out in the Sticks, Canada writes: Gerald Carpenter from writes: '... 1. Hamilton has nowhere near an NHL-ready rink. Not even close, unless you think NHL arenas are dumps with no corporate suites (I live in the city). ...'

    Gerald you confused ability to host a team with state-of-the-art. Copps Coliseum doesn't have the corporate boxes that generate the revnue stream NHL teams need to survive. BUT, if JB gets the green light and has to find a place for a team to play in the GTA next October, which would you rather pick; Copps or the Hershey Center in Mississauga? The former seats 17,500 and the latter seats 5,420.

    Do you remember that the Flames played their first three seasons at the Stampede Corral? Capacity was just under 9,000, and they were able to made it work.

    A new team could not stay indefinately at Copps in its current condition. I also don't believe you can complete the necessary renovations between May and September (BTW, I'm an engineer, not a lawyer so such details interest me). One possible scenario is that Copps would be used short term (as the Corral was), while they build a brand new arena nearby (Kitchener or Mississauga?).

    From the point of view of finding a home in a hurry for an NHL team, Scott Loucks was correct.
  85. A A from Canada writes: Balsillie is a smart businessman with determination. Bettman picked the wrong guy to go to battle with.

    Whatever anyone says about NHL has control all gets thrown out the window. The case is all in the hands of a judge and can go either way.
  86. Woody Forrest from Out in the Sticks, Canada writes: After Hamilton failed to support the Fincups of the Major Junior League back in the mid '70s, conventional wisdom was that they wouldn't support an NHL team either. And the steel business was more profitable back then.

    The AHL Hamilton Bulldogs have had problems with fan support too, but have done well recently. Even so, I'd be thrilled to have a new NHL team in Hamilton (or nearby).

    People commenting on how pitiful the Leafs have performed recently miss the fact that they make boatloads of money. I'd like to see the competition another team would bring. The Leafs share holders won't like it, but NHL fans would.

    I'd also be curious to know how hard it would be to schedule an AHL and NHL team in the same building.
  87. R. S. from Sunnyvale, Canada writes: Well Said A A.

    Several lawyers on this forum have given one sided arguments writing off JB's chances of winning. But last time I checked the American justice system leaves the decision to the judge on the case. So let's all wait and see how this plays out.
  88. will ashling from egotown, Canada writes: Give us a break - help me understand this - pull a team from a 4.5 million american city (said team once being in Winnipeg), disrupt untold number of related businesses and families and ask bloated, bankrupt Canadian governments to help fund the massive relocation costs and logistics, with the hope of enticing enough fans to pay exorbitant fees to make it successful - all 'cause JimBO's ego knows no bounds - gawd, make it stop!!!

    Of course, JB is wildly successful and we're all proud to call him a fellow Canadian, but get a grip. JB, everyone around you is either paid to agree with you, a cling-on basking in your fallout, or has their own political motives. Now hear this - it's a bad idea!! Nothing but failure on this one in the future.
  89. Mandip Kaur Sandher from Morriston, (near Guelph), Canada writes: He acknowledges his strong competitive instincts, but pledges to be a good partner: 'I've always been a constructive team player in what I do. Whether it's in my work, in my philanthropy, in my friendships or in my sports. I know how to work with teams and integrate well. I know the proper code of behaviour.'

    The outcome will be very interesting, because only TRUTH will prevail!
  90. Eee Plebneesta from Canada writes: If the NHL is paying to keep the team alive then they are the real owners.

    Ballsy's offer will be declared null and void.

    Phoenix will fold and and offers to keep a team in the area will be pursued. When all that fails a new franchise will be in the offing and Ballsy will be forced to make a bid just like anyone else at twice the price.

    TO will balk at the Hamilton re-location and Ballsy will be forced to include in his bid the promise of constructing a rink just west of that.

    Dundas Valley or Ancaster will be the preferred choices as they are prime real estate just off the 403 squeezed between KW, , Niagara , TO and Hamilton.

    The team will be called the Dundas Valley Squires
  91. Dave The Rave from Money talks, Canada writes: 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,' wrote Samuel Johnson.

    Mr. Balsillie drapes himself in the flag and proclaims himself the champion of 'under-served' Canadian hockey fans.

    If his pronouncements had any substance, Mr. Balsillie would have identified a market such as Halifax, Quebec, or Winnipeg, to name the most oft-cited.

    His armies of market researchers and other minions would have crafted a robust proposal backed by the planned construction of a new NHL-standards arena, and a program to promote hockey at all levels in the community.

    This would have been followed by a seamless plan and appropriate business process for the orderly transfer of an available franchise.

    A two-year timeline...perhaps.

    Canada's hockey fans would have indeed been served.

    But Mr Balsillie's ego may not allow for such self-discipline.

    So instead, we get a courtoom drama starring one Jim Balsillie.
  92. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    From a Canadian point of view, we have Gary The Count (played by Bettman), evil hater of nice Canadian hockey fans, versus Noble Hero Jim (played by Balsillie), shining knight and champion of True North Canadian hockey.

    From an American perspective, it is Tiny Captain USA (Bettman), promoter and defender of hockey in hot places, versus Northern Carpetbagger (Balsillie), the evil profiteer who wants to steal hockey from sunburned Americans numbering in the hundreds.

    Let the contest begin. Millions of devoted Canadians and hundreds of curious Americans await the outcome. The air is thick with tension. Well, at least for millions of Canadians, Bettman, Balsillie, assorted lawyers, and hundreds of Americans.
  93. Winni Miss from Canada writes: Access to Copps Coliseum is awful when there are events. Not only the QEW gets plugged at Oakville, but the streets of Hamilton cannot handle such traffic. There is very little parking available. The arena is fully 9 blocks away from the GO train. And... the coliseum is dated and too small.
  94. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Joe Kelly from Canada writes: Hamilton is a bit stagnant. You're absolutely right Joe. Also the city fathers who l am told are a bunch of idiots assume the owner would pay for the upgrade to that dump in the desolate downtown area. If that is not the case they will sacrifice money from needed programs to pour into an outdated arena and the residents will end paying higher taxes. All this for a hockey team ? The logical place would be Cambridge but Mississauga , Brampton , Burlington would do as well.
  95. Bill Wall from BC, Canada writes: Just offer the other owners free Blackberries Ballsie, and you're in. Besides you can afford it, with the rise of the $CDN the last couple of weeks, the cost of the team just dropped $20millionCDN.
  96. Jockey T from Bend of the River, Canada writes: Go get them Jim. If you need an extra nickel to take on the NHL sic Bettman you can count on me.
    How exciting is the prospect of a guy from Northern Ontario to be able to go to an NHL game without having to go to Toronto. Ottawa is fine. By the way, my wife has offered her nickel also.
    GO JIM GO
  97. Paul Bowler from Canberra, Australia writes: As I understand it, ice hockey (to distinguish the game from field [grass] hockey, is a (northern hemisphere) winter game developed by those nations in the northern hemisphere which regularly experience a 'cold' winter (ice, snow &c). The professional teams play the paek level of the game you would see played at local level in any village/town/city of those 'cold winter' nations in the northern hemisphere. It's part of the culture of those 'cold winter' nations.
    Phoenix, Arizona is part of the USA - but it is in the south, not in or near the north. Thus, locating a Winnipeg-based team to that city defies all logic - and people express amazement that a Phoenix- based team losese money! I suggest that any team based below the 40th parallel North would lose money. Anyways, the Baseball season is well under way ( with the Blue Jays off to an amazing start), so why are we talking about hockey??
  98. m y from Canada writes: give the people their daily circuses and bread and they forget all the problems of the world.

    this is the real problem...everyone is so selfish.

    i could care less about hockey and another team. it always seems like every billionaire has to have their own play thing.

    i will say this however, that bettman is a jerk, a sellout to american interests and in the end he might lose this battle but the war is settled anyway. the nhl is a dying league.
  99. Rob C from Canada writes: Build the KW arena while the team stays in Arizona. If the team sells enough tickets there, bring a different team to KW - forget paying any rights by coming to Hamilton. Either that or buy all unsold tickets in Buffalo and Toronto as compensation while temporarily occupying Copps. No one can complain then...This will create a great rivalry in S.On. Once that will be far better than the Ottawa - Toronto rivalry. Hopefully it puts ottawa out of business (yes i hate 'em that much)
  100. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: Wini Mss from Canada writes :Access to Copps Coliseum is awful when there are events etc.etc. Your comments are absolutely correct. The Hamilton city fathers have screwed up this decaying downtown by turning former four lane one way streets into two lane two way streets and as a result most people would not go downtown even there was a reason too which there isn't
  101. Another vicious kick right in the face from Orwell's Ghost, writes: I can't imagine why people care about this story.

    Some multimillionaire, all fat from backdating his options, is having trouble finding a suitable vanity project for his regulatorily-enforced-time-away-from-the-office.

    Whoopee!
  102. John Santos from Canada writes: If Bettman really wanted to 'grow the game' to the benefit of the NHL he would have pushed for the expansion in Europe where the hockey fans actually understand and enjoy the game. Phoenix, Atlanta, Nashville are all great cities but are not hockey towns.

    I hope Balsillie succeeds because if he doesn't it only strengthens Bettman's grip on the league and the game. He was ousted by the NBA for his megalomaniac type ideas now the NHL needs to do the same.
  103. Gerald Carpenter from writes: To Scot Loucks: Sorry, but i went to bed after my last post. I wasn't aware that I had to check in with you. I will try to do better next time. As to the removal of your posts, I don't know what you are taking about, since I had left. The post you suggested was removed in still there (about NHL-ready rinks). Take it up with the Globe. There really isn't anything that you could say where I would not be able to respond accordingly.

    As to your hockey thread comments, I don't post there because I have actual friends to talk to about the games, rather than computer whatever from Winnipeg. Give it a try. I could not care less what opinion you (or other people unknown to me) have about the latest game. I could care less about what your opinion is about Balsillie, either. What I care about is your constant spreading of misinformation, based on ignorance and an unearned sense of confidence that you know what you are talking about. I post here to educate those who are not quite as versed on the legal end and to counteract misinformation (ie about the Reinsdorf offer).

    Sorry if you don't like lawyers. I imagine that a lot of successful people frustrate you. That is your issue, not mine.
  104. Trish Taylor from Canada writes: there's more... this unnamed source (direct quote from a Canadian Press article ) went on to say 'He didn't help himself by making so many people unhappy the last time and people have long memories' That's why another longtime sports executive with a background in deal making said Balsillie's approach has been flawed from the start. 'In business, people don't like surprises. I happen to like Jim Balsillie but he just shot himself in the head. If you don't have Bettman onside who's going to support you?' A wiser approach, he said, would have been to buy the Coyotes for far less money, lose money there for a couple of years and then try to make the move. 'Then he becomes a member of the club, and he can go to his partners because he's tried ans day Look guys, I've blown $40mil here, I tried, It doesn't work. Let me move it. There's a better chance that way because he's built a bond with those guys. It's called politics.'

    And yet another comment that I can't quote .. indicated that if this is the way he operates now before he's even a part of the club, who's to say he won't operate that way later.

    I'm just a simple person. And I got this back during the Nashville Preds scenario. What I don't get, is why Jim Balsillie doesn't get this. And I have to think he does. He's a bright, smart, passionate guy with alot on the ball. So what I fervently wish is that the media would start asking Balsillie the RIGHT question - why take the approach he's been taking rather than buy a team and keep it there for awhile just to get in the club and work it from the inside? Wouldn't he have had his team in Canada already? I REALLY want to know the answer to that question. It would be fascinating to know his strategy on this because it's not making sense from the outside so I'm hoping it makes some sense from the inside. And I really hope that what we're all supporting is hockey and Jim's passion for hockey and not his ego.
  105. Jeremy K from Canada writes: It's been obvious for some time now that the NHL has been involved in blocking 3 rd Ontario team in order to preserve the regional monopolies currently in place. This is being done in spite of the obvious viability of a Hamilton franchise.

    The NHL is giving a big middle finger to the fans of Ontario so Balsillie is raising the finger in return.

    This may lead to the fall of Bettman (yay), the death of the sunbelt strategy (yay) and a Hamilton team (yay) but it will also earn Balsillie the everlasting hatred of the owners he sidestepped which could make longterm life for the team difficult.
  106. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    Paul Bowler from Canberra, Australia, nice to hear from someone down under. Regarding ice hockey, Canadians do not recognize the existence of that other game played on grass. We only use the term hockey, meaning the game played on ice is the only game that matters to us. Canadians do not put the word ice in front of hockey, it's understood. We do have some variations, like street hockey and ball hockey, but these are all based on hockey as we play it. We tend to dismiss anyone referring to ice hockey as uninformed and not really worth listening to. This includes the International Ice Hockey Federation, which Canadians consider a freaky Switzerland-based organization, even though we participate in their events. Regarding the question about why discuss hockey when the Blue Jays are off to a fantastic start. Answer: To most Canadian sports fans, baseball is fun, but hockey is cultural religion. Canadian hockey fans will focus attention on hockey when, in their view, something important happens, no matter the time of year, the outside temperature, or whatever other sports happen to be playing.
  107. Gerald Carpenter from writes: 'Winni Miss from Canada writes: Access to Copps Coliseum is awful when there are events. Not only the QEW gets plugged at Oakville, but the streets of Hamilton cannot handle such traffic. There is very little parking available. The arena is fully 9 blocks away from the GO train. And... the coliseum is dated and too small.'

    All very true points, every one. No one except us locals truly understand the logistics, because people from Toronto rarely come here. That illustrates another point. For us 'suits', it does not really work all that well to invite clients/guests to games and expect them to want to travel 90 minutes along the QEW. Just look at the Canadian Open, for example. When it is in Oakville, a comped corporate ticket is hard to come by. When it is in hamilton, at a 10X better course, comped tickets are easy to get. Yes, hockey is not golf, i know, but one should try to understand the point. Even if free, people really don't go to Hamilton. It has been scoffed at for years by Toronto, but now all of a sudden people will flock there.

    Don't think so.
  108. Mike S. from London, Canada writes: The whole idea of HOW territory is arrived at has to be changed. It should based on POPULATION (ie market size). What was the population of this 80 km radius when it was established? Whatever the AREA now is that contains that POPULATION, is the new territory. Bye bye Maple Laugh monopoly. Why is anybody still following those sorry losers anyway? I want a new team.
  109. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Gerald

    Wrong thread man, and don't take Scot to seriously he can be rather cantankerous at times. I have been reading all these threads and asking questions to those who are brave enought to admit to being lawyers aka scum of the earth;)

    Do you know if the US anti trust laws aplly to all of the NHL franchises including the Canadian ones? There is plenty of opinion going around which is fine with me but, knowing little of the law this stuff really fascinates me and I am looking for information not opinion.

    Not too much lawyer speak though, it's still quite early here in Cowtown.
  110. Trish Taylor from Canada writes: Weird.. take my second comment but not my first. So here's the preamble to the second comment - lends itself to nutshelling -

    I really want Balsillie to get his team. He's very philanthropic with his money and I'm all for people realizing their dreams. For the life of me though I don't get why he's going about it this way. And I wish the Canadian media would start asking Balsillie the right questions. There seems to be alot of 'unnamed sources' quoted in articles and these are the ones that have the most poignant things to say on this topic and why Balsillie just might not succed - 'One longtime well-connected sports executive understands Bettman's reluctance to let the Coyotes move, because he's opening the floodgates for other struggling teams to do the same. But he could only shake his head at how Balsillie is going about things. 'For the life of me, I don't understand the strategy on this one. There's six and a half billion people in this world but there's still 30 people he's got to get along with. And those 30 people are going to say 'What the hell is going on here? You didn't even phone the commissioner and say you're going to do this? Here's my offer; take it or bring me to trial?' While owners are competitors, they're also partners, he said and 'if you let somebody who's not in the game just say 'This is what I'm going to do and screw you' they may think that's what's going to happen later at some point in time too. He didn't help himself by making so many people unhappy the last time and people have long memories.'

    For the life of me, I don't get the strategy here. Maybe when this is all said and done, somebody in the media can write this story. There's got to be a strategy on Balsillie's part but for the life of me, I'm not seeing it.

    Regardless, wouldn't it be kickass to have the Coyotes and Gretzky in our own backyard and I hope someday Balsillie gets his team.
  111. Art Vandelai from Burlington, Canada writes: Winni Miss from Canada writes: Access to Copps Coliseum is awful when there are events. Not only the QEW gets plugged at Oakville, but the streets of Hamilton cannot handle such traffic. There is very little parking available. The arena is fully 9 blocks away from the GO train. And... the coliseum is dated and too small.

    Yes, QEW traffic can be bad, but there is all-day GO service into Hamilton's core, 1/2 hour from Oakville. Those 9 blocks to the GO station are small...it takes approximately 10 minutes to walk, even faster if travelling through the Jackson Square complex.

    The city is literally over-run with surface parking lots. Just look at Downtown Hamilton on Google Earth. More than enough parking, especially if many fans take transit.

    Sports teams generally offer a great symbiosis with downtowns, which is not comparable when building out in the suburbs. Without nearby shops, restaurants and bars, it's a boring place for hockey fans. There are no real downtowns in Vaughan, nor enough people and transit nearby in downtown Kitchener, Cambridge or Waterloo to create that ambiance...you need to have an arena surrounded by a massive parking lot, like in Kanata or the current Coyotes home in Glendale.

    Mr. Balsillie has done his homework...the place in the GTA with the best chance of being a success is Hamilton...a place with a distinct civic identity from Toronto, a real downtown, an arena that only needs a fw improvements as opposed to brand new construction, two proposed lines of LRT to bring people to and from the games, connections to the rest of the GTA and an energized, rabid bunch of hockey fans. As his wife is a Hamiltonian, I'm sure Mr. Balsillie is keenly aware of the city's potential.
  112. John Simmons from Canada writes: joe kelly: Great numbers. Now try this: post those numbers the next time you post first. I`m glad you did research after the fact to prove a moot point.

    I`m not exactly sure why my comments are baseless without facts because they are facts. Hamilton was and still is the closest to get an NHL team. They`re the only area where an owner has stepped up, legitimately (no dreams about Vaughan here okay), to put a team at Copps. Please tell me if owners from Winnipeg, Quebec, Halifax, Mississauga (ie. no downtown, no culture, no city life), Ontario etc. have actually purchased a team yet.

    Why is this even up for debate. Until someone steps up and actually says they`re going to put a team in another part of southern Ontario, Hamilton will continue being the primary location. You may think Hamilton is dying but that means you don`t know the city, its history and its prospects. Here`s a hint: steel is not the driving force anymore. It`s health sciences, and research and innovation. Maybe if you did your research, you`d know this.
  113. Mike from Van from Canada writes: Fascinating bunch of comments.

    Just wanted to say I see no reason why the Leafs would need or indeed have any moral grounds for compensation. Surely they'll continue on making money much as before. A new rivalry with a team located nearby could even could be good for business - for both teams - that is, if the Leafs are ever capable of having a rivalry with anyone in the NHL.

    And the fact that this story is front page news across Canada for several days running, while I'd wager it's barely a blip in the U.S. media except perhaps in Phoenix, just shows why this team should come home to Canada, regardless of which city they land in.
  114. johnny R from Canada writes: Bettman is Hockey's nemesis. Voted in by owners that know nothing about Hockey and how to make money in real hockey markets.
    Shame
  115. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: I would suggest to Mr. Balsillie that he buy the entire NHL outright with his pocket change. Then, terminate Bettman and some irritating owners. Run the league like a true business that it is. Atta boy, Jim.
  116. Michael Enright from Toronto, Canada writes: The Hamilton Spectator is reporting that a Tom Gaglardi group is looking at purchasing the Atlanta Thrashers to move them to Hamilton.

    This is quickly becoming a joke.
  117. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ...Balsillie is just a good guy trying to do right for his city & country....
  118. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Re Trish Taylor: In deference to your comments, I say Balsillie is proceeding as all successful entrepreneurs would. Kick A**. Take no prisoners. And Bettman does have a big you know what which would be easy to kick. Why do you think Bettman was relieved of his duties in the NBA prior to arriving in little Canada? It sure speaks volumes about the NHL owners, n'est-ce pas?
  119. David Reiff from United States writes: Lyn Alg, seriously, he or someone ought to move every NHL franchise currently in the US to Canada where it would be appreciated. Very few people in the US would notice. Then just rename it 'Canadian Hockey League'. I'm serious.
  120. billy weathers from Canada writes: yea the blackberry king will not give up
    hooray finally
    get brett hull to be the new
    nhl boss
    move teams to canada asap
    the people have spoken
    hartford 2
    cheers
  121. R. S. from Sunnyvale, Canada writes: To Jude Hannford...

    It is funny, I see that all the lawyers have shut up when you asked a simple legal question wanting information. None of the lawyers seem to want to answer an actual valid question if they can't argue their opinion as fact and respond in a condescending manner to other posts.
  122. Paul Ritchie from Calgary, Canada writes: This one is a no-brainer. Allow the sale and move the team.

    A little competition wouldn't hurt the Maple Laffs (42 years of futility and counting ... jeez).
  123. tommy marks from glendale az, United States writes: Jim Ball Silly is making you the Laughing Stock of the NHL...the owner of the Bloodberry is a loose cannon. Go Ducks!
  124. John Simmons from Canada writes: Look folks, it's a fan from Glendale and he cheers for Anaheim. This is your Phoenix Coyotes fanbase.

    I would wager that Jerry Moyes has made you the laughing stock of the NHL, sir. We're well aware of our situation up here and the chances are 50/50 of us getting your team.

    BlackBerry is the most successful brand of PDAs in the world and the NHL itself is a laughing stock among professional sports in terms of how it operates. Balsillie may be a loose cannon but we're enjoying watching him take on Bettman and the old gentleman's club, wearing them down to a nub.
  125. Cactus Puck from Canada writes: Just following up on Michael Enright's post. Basillie might have some competition for Hamilton.

    http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/563152
  126. Steve Church from Canada writes: RS Sunnvale - your 6:05 response said you disagreed with my post ... and then only gave evidence that supported me:- you don't understand the issues, you don't want to understand the issues, you don't care about the rules and processes - you want a hockey team. Ballsilie is your hero for saying he'll try to get you one. Everything else is off the table. Further to that, you have a machine in front of you that could research the answer to Jude's question instead of throwing insults at lawyers because they're not interested in doing someone else's homework. However, the research is Sherman Antitrust Act, Chaper 11, Chapter 7, and The Competition Act. hth.
  127. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: R. S. from Sunnyvale,

    I've asked that question twice and recieved no response. It could be the scum of the earth business (I meant no offence), it could be as you say, it could be they really don't know.

    The closest I've come to an answer was in this blog, provoded by another poster.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/169548-a-legal-analysis-of-the-state-of-the-phoenix-coyotes
  128. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Steve Church

    Although I would love to spend my Sat morning researching the answer to my question, I figured that all of you who seem to be in the know, would be more than happy to take another chance at showing us how clever you all are.

    Sorry for asking.
  129. Steve Church from Canada writes: Jude, it comes across as a bone-lazy attempt to get free legal answers. The snide remark at the end is noted. Even your claim of finding an 'answer' appears borrowed - it was originally posted on the G&M I Alafrate. Good luck with your research.
  130. joe kelly from Canada writes: John Simmons from Canada writes: joe kelly: 'Great numbers. Now try this: post those numbers the next time you post first. I`m glad you did research after the fact to prove a moot point. I`m not exactly sure why my comments are baseless without facts because they are facts. Hamilton was and still is the closest to get an NHL team. They`re the only area where an owner has stepped up, legitimately (no dreams about Vaughan here okay), to put a team at Copps. Please tell me if owners from Winnipeg, Quebec, Halifax, Mississauga (ie. no downtown, no culture, no city life), Ontario etc. have actually purchased a team yet. Why is this even up for debate. Until someone steps up and actually says they`re going to put a team in another part of southern Ontario, Hamilton will continue being the primary location. You may think Hamilton is dying but that means you don`t know the city, its history and its prospects. Here`s a hint: steel is not the driving force anymore. It`s health sciences, and research and innovation. Maybe if you did your research, you`d know this. ' ____________________________________________________ Wow, I didn't realize you were the keeper of posting protocols. Hmmm, you live in Hamilton? Nice city, but if you are so informed you would have known those numbers yourself. I did. You challenged, I put-up. Geez, this is sounding like some crazy shinny hockey game. Just for the record: god bless Hamilton if they get a team. If you reflected before you reacted you would see that I am simply sceptical the local population can sustain a team and some --- just some --- data supports me on this. We agree, HE HAS NOT commited to Hamilton just yet, so what makes THEM the front runner as you claim???. If a team has to draw from outside its geography, it better be accessible.
  131. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Steve Church

    Free legal answers? Dude I'm not suing anyone, we are on a thread discussing the possibilities of this happening. Some claim to know, I don't. I figured it was a yes or no question, maybe I'm wrong.

    I apologize if offended you with my remark, I was teasing, I got nothing against lawyers man, I sell booze for a living.
  132. Trish Taylor from Canada writes: Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Re Trish Taylor: In deference to your comments, I say Balsillie is proceeding as all successful entrepreneurs would. Kick A**. Take no prisoners. And Bettman does have a big you know what which would be easy to kick. Why do you think Bettman was relieved of his duties in the NBA prior to arriving in little Canada? It sure speaks volumes about the NHL owners, n'est-ce pas?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lyn, not sure that being a successful entrepreneur means always taking the Kick A$$ approach but then it depends on your interpretation of Kick A$$. It hasn't worked for Balsillie so far in his quest for a team. I think it takes some kickass politics too and I've admired those who know how to play their politics in business to get what they're after. A little quote from Andy Warhol of all people 'Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.' Jim doesn't seem to have the owners on his side on this one at all and maybe he doesn't care. Maybe he'd rather bodycheck than finesse. I'm intrigued with Balsillie's 'strategorizing' on this and I guess we'll see how it all plays out.
  133. Fred S from Blackberryland, Canada writes: fwiw, I don't think another team in Southern Ontario will be financially successful (& will only be sustainable as long as Balsillie's money lasts), but he clearly has demonstrated a strong desire to buy the toy he most wants and I don't think he is going to be denied. Eventually his money will talk & someone is going to listen, perhaps the bankruptcy judge in Phoenix.

    On the other hand....let me get this straight, Bettman has a growing number of franchises (& owners) who are increasingly in financial trouble, ranging from phoenix to tampa to miami to atlanta to dallas & even montreal. none of these owners is going to be thrilled with the idea of throwing away their own cash to support a floundering Phoenix franchise and pay off millions to existing creditors just so that Bettman can save face & a franchise that has become a sink hole, especially when there is a guy with deep pockets looking to pay off all creditors (except glendale), just so he can own a franchise & become one of 'them'.

    the last time I checked, the NHL needs guys with cash to provide stable ownership and it doesn't hurt if the guy has a genuine passion for the game deeply rooted within by reason of hailing from the country of the game's birthplace.

    the talk about 'playing by the rules' wouldn't be so ironic if it weren't for the stories of how former nhl owners like mcnall & W. wirtz (both chairmen of the NHL board) accumulated their wealth and it is fast becoming meaningless given the growing financial crisis the league & many of its teams find themselves in.

    while Rome is burning, Bettman is still focusing on putting out the little fires, ignoring the bigger picture, in the hopes he can somehow manage to save his crumbling expanded creation by throwing a little water on the desert to keep away the rescuer/relief team...

    go figure.
  134. Eee Plebneesta from Canada writes: If the NHL is paying to keep the team alive then they are the real owners.

    Ballsy's offer will be declared null and void.

    Phoenix will fold and and offers to keep a team in the area will be pursued. When all that fails a new franchise will be in the offing and Ballsy will be forced to make a bid just like anyone else at twice the price.

    TO will balk at the Hamilton re-location and Ballsy will be forced to include in his bid the promise of constructing a rink just west of that.

    Dundas Valley or Ancaster will be the preferred choices as they are prime real estate just off the 403 squeezed between KW, , Niagara , TO and Hamilton.

    The team will be called the Dundas Valley Squires
  135. joe kelly from Canada writes: Trish Taylor: Your first post quotes someone who is essentially an advocate of crony capitalism. It is arguably a system of finance/business designed solely to benefit Themselves (i.e. the members) at the expense of everyone else. Crony capitalism is fun if you are one of the cronies, but generally speaking, not so good for the consumer --- or for 'real' capitalists. The collapse of global finances last fall has been partly blamed on this 'closed shop' 'heads I win tails you lose' mentality. Now look who is footing the bill to pay to fix the consequences. And consequences there always are with such a smug anti-capitalist approach to capitalism (free markets are anathema to crony capitalists). So, because of said consequences laws get written (eg. anti-trust) and courts rule. In the US, the tolerance level for cronyism is high to begin with --- until which time the pendulum swings the other way and the courts deal with it usually quite harshly. That is why, in my opinion, JB has a 75% chance at succeeding. On another note, I am puzzled by anyone who thinks the guy is 'going about this the wrong way'. He finally woke up to the fact that like any other closed-shop boys club, they are all polite to your face while they snicker behind your back. His chances of getting a team unless he plays by 'their rules' is something less than 1 percent. (Their rules --- 'assume financial responsibility for a money-spewing franchise in the US, come see us some day about moving it to that cute little village of yours up in Canada .') If JB prevails, Daly gets retired and Bettman will change his tune. For the sake of the fans, for the sake of 'our' game, and gosh, even for the sake of capitalism, we should all be cheering the man on. And by all means, if not the GTA then Quebec City.
  136. joe kelly from Canada writes: 'Dundas Valley Squires'

    good, very good
  137. Cactus Puck from Canada writes: Lots of lobbing of hand grenades going on in this thread. Good thing no one has pulled the pin yet.
  138. Steve Church from Canada writes: Jude - I'm not a lawyer, but as I understand it action against the NHL would fall under US antitrust legislation, and action against the Leafs or issues inside Ontario would fall under the Competition Act.
  139. joe kelly from Canada writes: My last comment. Sport monopolies have done very well using the 'bigger fool theory' of economics. To be a bit kinder; 'the bigger ego theory'. Meaning, no matter how bad a team is doing or how expense it has become to acquire --- some billionaire can always be parted from their money. Think the Russians in premier league, developers in NHL, etc etc. Except, when the paper value of said billionaire's equity takes a 40% hit, slowly the lights go on. I fully admit that folks have been saying for a long time that sport franchise values cannot keep going up --- while they do. But, US$212.5 for a hockey team in Phoenix? My guess is if JB's bid is rejected and the team must stay in AZ, the cover bid will be $100 million lower. There are fewer fools right now.
  140. Trish Taylor from Canada writes: Fred S - I agree that Balsillie would be awesome for the game and the league on so many levels. He's well known to throw his money into things that benefit far beyond just himself and it speaks to the kind of presence he'd likely bring to the game for the fans. Begs the question then - why isn't he getting the support from the owners one would expect since it appears to be a no-brainer? I don't get how it's good business to alienate the people you need to work with before you even start working with them. And why not go to the owners themselves first and say 'here's what I want to do - are you onboard?' Nope...note getting it. But hey, I'm not the billionaire, Jim is. This is going to be a fascinating case study some day.
  141. Rollo 8>) from Belgium writes:

    Given that when Balsillie want to buy the Penguins he had the unanimous support of the NHL governors, he should use that political capital to have Bettman ousted and Wayne Gretzy appointed to run the NHL.
  142. Steve Church from Canada writes: Eee - you might want to read through http://tinyurl.com/qzzgms the legal outline posted a number of times. Moyes' promise-clause to not declare bankruptcy can be challenged. The NHL can file a motion stating it will block the relocation and the whole deal could be declared invalid. The deal could be declared invalid because Moyes sold something he didn't have - relocation rights. The judge could wrap all the issues in one bundle and find for Balsilie on the grounds that the NHL can block this relocation, can't block the next relocation, and therefore it only saves time to find for Balsillie this time around. The end of this nonsense is Ballsilie wins, the NHL suspends the franchise, and Balsilie takes out his anger with a lawsuit in the States. It's shaping up as a 29-team league and a Supreme Court date years from now. So far some big stakeholders haven't shown up - the NHLPA, the Owners, and the franchise lawyers. My guess is they're hoping the Phoenix judge cans the whole ambush.
  143. Richard Hawrelak from Sarnia, Canada writes: Joe, I tried 3 times to respond to this article in a similar fashion to yours. You did a better job than I in summarized most of what I was trying to say. I'd only add that adding a team in Hamilton does nothing for expanding hockey in the larger U.S. market. It would be like pi$$ing in the soup to use an old marketing term.
  144. Gerald Carpenter from writes: To Jude:

    Sorry, I was not avoiding your question. I simply left the page. This is twice now someone has gotten on my case for not immediately responding to a question they ask after I have left. Do I need to announce my arrivals and exits?

    Now, to your original question: "Do you know if the US anti trust laws apply to all of the NHL franchises including the Canadian ones?"

    That is actually an interesting question, and it is pretty well impossible to answer it simply. It is really a question of an area called "conflicts of laws", which deals with situations where the laws of two jurisdictions come into contact, and the law of forums (where you bring a case). The short answer is that it is not quite clear. There are general rules against laws of a country applying outside their territory, but countries also have the ability to regulate their own citizens (or corporate citizens). A US court could not go outside to order the Maple LEafs, for example, but it could do so for the NHL, including as it pertains to its actions wherever they may be. The same thing applies for Canadian courts or the competition brach. Since the NHL operates within Canada as well, they would likely be some jurisdiction as it pertains to CDN franchises only (the CDN comp branch might have a more difficult time in dealing with the NHL dealing with a US franchise, since that would be completely outside their country).

    Does that help? I know it is not a yes/no, but sometimes that is simply the way it is. In order to get a yes/no, sometimes you have to ask a much more specific answer, and even then the answer is not always clear. Feel free to ask a follow-up.
  145. joe kelly from Canada writes: Steve, I like your thinking.

    I'm no lawyer, but have used them to defend corporate (lender) Chaper 11 and CCAA interests, --- and to acquire assets in such circumstances.

    Therefore my general opinion is: Bettman is screwed either way. Meaning, a "contract" can be overturned/deemed irrelevant once provisions of Chapter 11 kick in. I guess to say it another way --- and the lawyers on post can jump in --- just because 2 parties may have agreed to a protocol to dealing with bancruptcy, such protocol is irrelevant if said company is legitimately bust and other creditors exist. The courts have a responsibility to all the creditors, not just Moyes and the NHL.

    So, what that means is the judge could possibly decide: "I understand and respect the NHL relocation rules. So Mr. Bettman pay $212.6 million and the team is yours. Failing that, give me good reason to understand why the creditors should be screwed by a relocation "rule" that the NHL itself breaks whenever it suits them."

    The NHL would of course appeal but likely not want their "rules" tested before the US senior courts and would therefore do a face-saving deal with JB.
  146. Trish Taylor from Canada writes: Joe Kelly, you make some interesting points. Just want to note that because I quote them, doesn't mean I agree with their approach. It IS an interesting set of circumstances and I quoted those things because nobody is talking about that part of it and I'd be interested to see discussion on that. No doubt Jim is passionate about the game and he wins in the court of public opinion, particularly Canadian (heck, I signed up on the website even though I don't think it's going to have much impact in the big picture). Is that really where the battle is though?

    Just because I don't get his approach doesn't mean I don't want him to get his team. If anything, I'm more frustrated that his approach seems to PREVENT him from getting his team and I'm fascinated with the dynamics at play. It's all very interesting, frustrating, exciting and intriguing. Wouldn't mind a bit having the Phoenix Coyotes become the Hamilton Blackberries. Have a good one.
  147. joe kelly from Canada writes: Does anyone else find it ironic that the aspirations of great numbers of Canadian hockey fans may in fact be fulfilled by a US judge? Not surprising really.
  148. joe kelly from Canada writes: Trish Taylor, yes I understood your real intent. Hamilton "Blackberries " is however where I draw the line.
  149. Steve Church from Canada writes: Joe, the NHL wont'e be screwed, I'd say Balsillie's chances are somewhere between slim and none. He's deliberately using legal loopholes to bypass the NHL franchise process. Joe, it also reads like you didn't review the article in the link. In fact, on Fan590, the opinion was a business in Chapter 11 can't relocate - it's frozen pending reorganization. And no, under no circumstances will the judge turn to the NHL(Bettman) and say pay $212mil to make it go away. And how you joined the creditors getting screwed to the relocation rule is beyond me. Your last point seems to have a hint in the G&M article - Balsillie hinting at MLSE compensation has a big blink on it to me. My guess on the court ruling is that the judge will turn to Ballsilie and say - "Sir, if you want to buy an NHL franchise, do so - as is where is. Then go through the process all owners have gone, and will go, through to relocate." Otherwise all major sports leagues could be affected. Be very clear on this - Ballsilie wants to avoid the price of a new franchise and the compensation costs to Buffalo and Toronto. He's not buying the Phoenix Coyotes; only the charter and some chattel.
  150. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Gerard

    Thank you so very much for your time and answer. If only you'd arrived a little earlier and spare a little feather ruffling;)

    Follow up,

    If Jim challenges the 80km rule in court and the court decided is his favour, must the NHL operate in the manner that the court decides everywhere they operate or just in the States?
  151. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Haven't read all the comments, sorry, not enough time. As to the question by Jude, if it had already been addressed, sorry, but U.S. anti-trust law applies only in the U.S. The Competition Act applies here. Is the NHL subject to both, yes, because it does business in both countries, so it could actually be at risk for facing to contrary rulings with respect to its business operations. As to the real issue here, to me it is that the NHL owners would get to share $400M if there is an expansion team in Southwestern Ontario, but not if Phonex is moved and the payout is primarily to creditions.
  152. Jude Hannaford from Canada writes: Hockeydad London from Canada writes

    As to the real issue here, to me it is that the NHL owners "would get to share $400M if there is an expansion team in Southwestern Ontario, but not if Phonex is moved and the payout is primarily to creditions."

    Agreed and thank you. JB stands to make a tonne of dough and seems very willing to share some of that pie with everybody else but the NHL to do so.

    It's pretty funny if it works, 400 mil to the NHL or 213 to creditors plus legal fees. They shouldn't have shafted him the first two times.
  153. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Jude, thankyou. Unfortunately, as I have learned over the years, money talks principle walks. The NHL's "rules" would be bent by the owners in a second if the money to them was right.
  154. joe kelly from Canada writes: Steve, I read the article. let's agree on this --- the only opinion among a myriad of opinions that is going to matter is that of the judge next week. After that, perhaps other judges. My point is, the NHL franchise rules --- just like the NFL's before them, are not carved into the US constitution. But there are other provisions in said constitution/laws etc that US courts just love to opine on. Hence why JB is making the only move he's got. Contrary to fan radio opinion, the various bancruptcy codes leave considerable room for a judge to rule on "equity" --- what is both fair, and yes realistic. Or to paraphrase the only lawyer on these posts --- Mr. Carpenter --- the answer is not "yes/no". The issue is not JB's "rights" --- it is the rights and treatment of the lenders (assuming there are no senior lenders who have all the security tied up). Therefore the attack is 2-fold: best deal for creditors is challenged by the NHL trust therefore attack trust otherwise basic tenet of US capitalism is undermined. Blah blah blah. I think if judge rules in his favour the NHL will settle pronto with JB rather than have their rules challenged in a court.
  155. John O'Cauley from Oakville, Canada writes: The NHL and Bettman have been biting the hands that feed them for too long (the fans). Why don't all true fans unite and start an official Fire Bettman campaign. I say that all fans should unite start an official petition and have an official boycott for the first week of all NHL games. One week of empty stands would send chills up the spines of owners and make them come to their senses about Bettman.
  156. Devil Bud from Canada writes: I have followed this issue for quite a long time now. In the interest of being honest, I am a lawyer, and was involved in the original attempt by Balsillie to acquire the Penguins and move them into Hamilton. I won't go any further than that. I have read quite a few posts yesterday, and some today and can see that quite a few people have different ideas of how this could/will play out. The short end to all of this will be if it is found that the NHL controls the team. The crazy end to this will be if the Court somehow decides two things: 1) That Moyes is in control and able to sell to the highest bidder (Balsillie); and 2) The NHL Constitution violates Anti-Trust legislation in the U.S. and unduly restricts Balsillie's/Moyes' ability to relocate the team. There is one huge problem though...the NHL Constitution is nothing short of a contract as amongst Joint Venturers. As such, it is a private contract and while a U.S. Court may have jurisdiction to control the actions of NHL Franchises within the U.S., and whether their contractual relations, behaviour, etc. violate U.S. law, they can't say much with respect to how Canadian Franchises operate. In other words, lets just say, the U.S. Courts say, "Let the Coyotes be sold to Balsillie and you can't stop them from being relocated to Hamilton." That is where the U.S courts' jurisdiction ends. Now, they are in Hamilton and MLSE decides to invoke their territorial rights, Buffalo as well. The Competition Act will apply to MLSE actions, not U.S. Anti-Trust. This is because they are only relying upon private contractual rights that they have acquired by being a member of a joint venture. They are also only invoking such contractual rights against another Canadian organization. So, from here, unless MLSE agrees, Hamilton will not be able to join the NHL.
  157. Devil Bud from Canada writes: Continuing...MLSE and Buffalo can still block Hamilton's existence as a member of the Joint Venture - the NHL. In other words, while a U.S. Court can "grant" the sale and relocation, MLSE and Buffalo will still block the "membership" of Hamilton. From there, Balsillie will have to challenge the NHL Constitution, the rights invoked under the Constitution and behaviour of MLSE, Buffalo and NHL Board of Governors as anti-competitive behaviour under the Competition Act. From there, Balsillie will rely upon the Competition Bureau to bring proceedings under s.78/79 and s.45 or just s.78/79 of the Competition Act. From there it will be left to the Competition Tribunal and the Federal Court, or just the Competition Tribunal. This is the only real legal remedy that Balsillie can rely upon within Canada in order to guarantee that he can move to Hamilton and be admitted as a member of the NHL...aside from gaining the approval of the Board of Governors, MLSE and Buffalo. Sorry for the length, but that is about the shortest explanation I have ever given.
  158. joe kelly from Canada writes: "Devil Bud" --- not bad at all! Thanks

    It is essentially because of this me thinks NHL will "settle" (meaning, a backroom deal that let's them save face and eventually gives JB what he wants, a team in Waterloo) if they lose round one.
  159. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Has anyone thought:
    1. The Coyotes are a separate company (from the NHL). Mr. Rim could win (roll up the Rim to Win????), and then the NHL could refuse to schedule any games with the Coyotes. He wins, but he has been had. Does anyone who owns the Coyote incorporation own an obligation for the rest of the NHL to play that team?
    2. The NHL says you own them, and can move them to Winnipeg, or Quebec City, or anywhere there will no chance of territorial conflict. I would put good money Mr. Rim (who wants to cut into some of the rich market that MLSE has) would demonstrate he doesn’t love NGHL hockey that much
    3. Yesterday, MLSE hinted that indemnity would be around $800 million. Plus $200 million for the team. Bad deal. START YOUR OWN LEAGUE.
    The only solution – a new WHA, with the survivors, eventually being allowed into the NHL.
  160. Building an Ark from Canada writes: Bettman is a fool in Wolf's clothes, worst off his an American Lawyer who spoils for a fight instead of trying to think like an owner. $215M is a lot of scratch and keeps the owners value of their franchise. Bettman will fight to the end because he was outside the loop, and is completely loopy for putting frozen ice in the far south...that and a horrible TV deal that get's worse every year. Time for this eel to move off the carcass he created - new commissioner please!
  161. Steve Church from Canada writes: Joe Kelly wrote:- "I think if judge rules in his (Balsillie) favour the NHL will settle pronto with JB rather than have their rules challenged in a court. " That's a pipedream, imo. If Moyes wins this round and is allowed to conditionally sell to JB, the NHL isn't going to raise a white flag. More likely it will follow the 15-round appeals process that Al Davis went through with the NFL.
  162. Bryan Gotch from Calgary, Canada writes: The NHL needs to get over its pipe dream of becoming a genuine "national" league in the US once and for all. I'd love to see a team in Hamilton but a second team in Toronto would be a lot more accepting to the US team owners, and make much more economic sense. Plus, the "Toronto Make Beliefs" will never have to worry about competition...they'll be selling out till hell freezes over, regardless of how rotten they are. Also, a second team in Toronto would be virtually no threat to the Buffalo Sabres, as Hamilton would definitely be.
  163. Steve Church from Canada writes: Ballin - Read Devil Bud's summary about what happens when it crosses the border (altho I'm hesitant about Buffalo's position as a US franchise if it slides into the canadian Competition Act venue). Merge that with Balsillie coming to Hamilton without permission; I could see the NHL suspending the franchise for charter violations, removing anything to do with Phoenix from the schedule and all NHL calculations, and throw the hot potato over to the NHLPA with a disbursement draft order. Going back to Devil Bud's post, everything goes away like a bad dream if the court cans the whole sale gambit. On the issue of obligations in Phoenix, yes there's lots of them - that's the charter.
  164. joe kelly from Canada writes: Ballin Munson,
    I always thought the $200 million number kicked-around to pay MLSE for the right to put another team in Vaughan --- was an odd lot. The smart play for MLSE in such circumstances is to put a second team in themselves.

    Then they'd truly have the fans by the proverbials.
  165. Steve Church from Canada writes: Joe Kelly, the numbers kicked around for a new franchise in the zone have ranged from $350mil to $600mil. MLSE's throw-in of $800mil compensation is just to make sure they get taken seriously. The usual number that's been used (all the sportsdesks, newspapers, Duhatcsheck's blog here) is $400mil. As for having a second team from the same ownership ... don't think the NHL permits that, for obvious reasons.
  166. Woody Forrest from Canada writes: joe kelly from Canada writes: "... So, what that means is the judge could possibly decide: "I understand and respect the NHL relocation rules. So Mr. Bettman pay $212.6 million and the team is yours. Failing that, give me good reason to understand why the creditors should be screwed by a relocation "rule" that the NHL itself breaks whenever it suits them."

    FWIW I completely agree.

    As for the people commenting that the NHL owns the Coyotes by virtue of paying their bills for several months: The language I've heard used is that they "advanced" the money to Moyes. In other words, they were not purchasing equity in the team, but loaning money that they wanted paid back.

    I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know how such things work. Moyes seems to have a lot of contraints on what he can do with his team. His path forward may be unclear, but the money he has been losing is real.

    So isn't this a problem money can fix? JB has set the bar at $212.5 mm. The NHL or another group might want to throw money at this problem, but to be fair to the creditors it shouldn't be something like a measly $160 mm.

    And how do anti-trust rules apply to this situtation?
  167. Cassandra from Ottawa from Canada writes: Balsillie is on CBC now with his aw shcks I'm just a wonderful guy, Canadian hockey fan schtick. Ron Maclean is licking his boots. Gag.

    He is definately trying to grab a 400 mil market for 200 mil and waving the flag. Oh Canada.

    Stephen Brunt is ever his eager mini-me. Brunt was Bob Goodenow's biggest fan in the press, he's liikely hoping to destroy his heroes nemesis.

    Absurd and embarrassing , the whole thing.
  168. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: joe kelly : the G&M on Friday quotes an MLSE source tht the indemnity would be $800 million. SOmewhat makes sense, I believe the Islanders paid $50Million to the NY Rangers in the 1970's.
    Steve Church, It looks like you are thinking what I'm thinking, the NHL has no obligation to play with anyone, except who it chooses to.
    If they were smart (although it would look bad). Let Mr. Rim buy them, pay the debts, etc., and then just revoke the charter...
    MLSE could take their indemnity out of a 20 year lease, worth mucho dinero., and yes, double up on the number of MLSE Hockey dates. Wonder how long before all the whiners in places like Milton, would again be saying that S Ontario could support yet another team..
  169. ken kolthammer from Canada writes: I hope the judge rips the head off that arrogant little pr!ck Bettman and shoves it where the Phoenix sun doesn't shine.
  170. f g from Canada writes: Southern Ontario could definitely support a second NHL team, but Hamilton is not the the best market.

    I spent the day in DT Hamilton today and let me tell you, it's one depressing, non affluent and ugly place... makes Winnipeg look like a jewel.

    The second NHL franchise should be located somewhere in York region. There's plenty of land to build a new arena and is home to the most rabid hockey fans in the world.
  171. Hockeydad London from Canada writes: Hey, if I could grab $400M asset for $216M, (if I was ever in the position to do so) I would try, so has Basillie. Devil Bud, thanks for your explanation. Steve Church, you and I have traded comments, and I think at heart we agree, NHL owners want $400m in their pockets for expansion into Southwestern Ontario plus compensation to MLSE and Buffalo. That is the hang up. Everyone knows NHL hockey will not survive in Phonex. That team will move, but only within southwestern U.S., likely Vegas. Money talks. JB just isn't willing as yet to pay enough to the right people.
  172. Compos Mentis from Toronto, Canada writes: The only rationale for the NHL owners not to support Mr. Balisillie's many efforts to secure an existing franchise is simply a matter of their own self serving interests. I'm sure had Mr. Balsillie approached them with cheque book in hand to buy a new franschise valued at approximately $350m (US), none of them would have uttered a peep in opposition, regardless of where he chose to put his franchise. But in trying to do an end run around the NHL Board of Governors by denying them this lucrative pot of money, Mr. Balsillie has simply given them even more reason for them to despise and loathe him. As for Mr. Bettman, he just happens to be the point man for them and while he makes an easy target, the position he presents to the public is just him being the highly paid mouthpiece that he is! The NHL Board of Governors is a very exclusive closed shop and they and only then have the right to decide who gets to join them. Unfortunately for the City of Hamilton and all hockey fans in the area, as this weeks events have shown, there is no reason to believe the Board is going to greet Mr. Balisllie with open arms and an invititation to join any time soon.
  173. Dave Kulawick from Ottawa, Canada writes: Please tell me there is a recording of this:

    "There can be lots of finger-pointing and scenarioizing and blaming to go around, but it's fundamentally irrelevant right now," Mr. Balsillie says.

    thanks
  174. Chris Michaels from Canada writes: "f g from Canada writes: Southern Ontario could definitely support a second NHL team, but Hamilton is not the the best market.

    I spent the day in DT Hamilton today and let me tell you, it's one depressing, non affluent and ugly place... makes Winnipeg look like a jewel."

    Guess that's the difference -- people from Hamilton aren't as cowardly as you. This philosophy of running away from your problems is what has landed Hamilton in the position its in.

    Thankfully, there are people like Bob Young, Balsillie and David Braley intent on reviving it.

    People like you are the reason for the GTA's runaway urban sprawl. Why fix something and make it great when you can just go find something new?

    This is an opportunity to really resurrect downtown Hamilton -- returning it to prosperity. Instead, naysayers would rather it remain a drain on resources. Newsflash -- the Hamilton downtown core isn't going anywhere. Here's a chance to make the best of it.
  175. joe kelly from Canada writes: Oh brother. JD is not trying to 'grab/steal/take' a --- $400 million, $800 million, whatever ---- asset for $212.5 million. (And who the hell says today's value is $400 million???). Quite the contrary, he is trying to stop the NHL from screwing Moyes to advance his (JB's) own agenda. The NHL is trying to shag the puck in the corner. Whereas JB, by establishing for a bancruptcy court a clear and credible hurdle that is way above any other (known) bid, is trying to flush out into public view this financial nonsense.

    If he succeeds, level heads will eventually prevail and a deal will get done. If MLSE --- or anyone else --- thinks the equilization payment should be $800 million (they are posturing, but let's assume they aren't) then it will end up back before a judge. The reason why I believe it gets settled if he wins round one is simple --- subsequent rounds will involve levels of financial disclosure and machinations which I suspect the NHL will not want to air publicly.
  176. Geoff Brookes from Winnipeg, Canada writes: To anyone who argues against new Canadian locations (yes, plural) for NHL franchises - You can argue about economics indefinitely, and yes, the NHL model is definitely broken and needs to be fixed. BUT, what you MUST have for any sports franchise to be successful, in ANY location, is FANS THAT CARE! Clearly the fans in southern Ontario care, based on the reaction to this story. Sourthern Ontario WILL get a team, because there is DEMAND for it, and there are owners who are willing to make it work.

    Winnipeg has a bigger hill to climb due to the huge dollars involved from a Winnipeg perspective. But Winnipeg (and Manitoba) is often underestimated, and often exceeds peoples expectations (just look at the relative strength of the Manitoba economy within Canada right now). The people that are close to the effort to bring an NHL team back to Winnipeg have been quoted as saying that they are working on in it quietly. It wouldn't surprise me very much, and it would make me very pleased, to see a headline someday in the next 5 years that announces Winnipeg entrepreneurs bringing a team back here. The White-Outs will return!!!

    But the main thesis of this posting is that you have to have fan support, or else you are setting yourself up for an embarrassing failure as a league and as a franchise. Try as they might, they are not getting consistent fan support in the southern United States. They WILL get it in Canada!

    Jim, and other Canadian entrepreneurs and hockey fans across Canada, let's score a hat trick for hockey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  177. j wilson from vancouver, Canada writes:
    Why would anyone, smart enough to make enough money to buy the Coyotes and keep them in Glendale, be stupid enough to buy the Coyotes and keep them in Glendale?
  178. Chet Bridal from Vancouver, Canada writes: $100 M loss for four years = $3.3 M loss per owner = $800 K per owner per year. The cost of a fourth line forward.

    OTH, if the southern Ontario franchise is sold for $400 M, then each owner stands to gain over $13 M - not a tough decision, is it?

    in this matter, the whiny midget is only doing what his masters are ordering.
  179. alan glaser from toronto, Canada writes: what I think is most interesting is the storm of media coverage being created in canada and the complete lack of coverage in the United States.
    This simple fact should send wake up calls through the halls of the NHL.
    If americans wanted the franchise to stay in Arizona where is the outcry that we are hearing in Canada?? Where is the debate among the "sporting community" in the United States??
    Only in Canada is this issue being debated enough to involve our MP's and Prime Minister.
    If the NHL can't understand the dollars that could be achieved in our own country...to the benefit of the owners...then who really is control of our national pastime??
    Two dozen Individual owners who live outside Canada or 30 millon odd canadians who would love to see another team in canada
  180. Mike Russell from Hamilton, Canada writes: After reading Devil Buds earlier explanation it would seem that under the charter agreement and the NHL constitution the leagues owners actually don't own the franchises they think they own but the league does. If that is the case then who owns the league, could it be the owners. It sounds like alot of legal bs to me. A shell game to disavow themselves of any legal liability or responsibility and yet maintain control. I don't think any judge worth his salt is going to go for it. The reality is the league is owned by the franchisee's (owners) not the other way around. Gary Bettman serves at the pleasure of the owners. He can be removed and replaced at any time. As for the anti trust angle in the US, when was the last time a franchise in any sport was prevented from moving. I can't recall any. Even successful franchise's have moved after failing to blackmail cities into building new facilities. Chances are the NHL knows that and all their talk is just that, talk. They wouldn't have a chance in court. The competition act in Canada is politically driven. If the Bureau for some reason decided in favour of the NHL there would be a political price to pay for the government of the day. Besides that how do they quantify, indemnification damages to an organization such as MLSE, which has a national following. Basically the whole country is their territory. It could be argued that any team that located in Canada after the Leafs came into existance would owe them damages. The reality is Balsillie has them over a barrel and all the kicking and screaming that Bettman does isn't going to change that.
  181. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Joe Kelly : The $800 million is based on what someone who wants to “buy” their way into the neighbourhood will have to pay.
    Like a house, car, etc. if you are trying to sell it, there is a different price from someone coming up to the owner buy something that is not currently for sale.
    In other words, I did not think MLSE was currently “selling” some of it’s’ territory. Mr. Rim, is trying to “buy” in. The price is what ever MLSE wants to ask for it.
  182. Ballin Munson from toronto, Canada writes: Mike Russel. Five years from now, there will still be stories of a potential NHL team coming to Hamilton/Southwestern Ontario.
    Always was, always will be.
    Since half the NHL is now populated by Europeans with hard to pronounce names, it is the Hot Stove League topic of choice.
  183. Lamont Cranston from toronto, Canada writes: Prediction : this whole thing is already dying as people realize the hurdles are too high. A couple of months from now, it will be a non issue.
    Beyond MLSE vetoing anything that does not yield them the $800 Million, is the fact that all the Bloggin supporters are in agreement(another S. Ontario team), to disagree(exactly where to locate it).
    Notice that they all have an opinion where a second team would make sense? At least half do not like Hamilton, alone. Most others, name some random area that is the confluence of a couple of highways, or municipalities, but most likely is around 3 KMs. from where they live.
    Solution? 500 Teams in the GTA, so everyone can see an NHL game on every corner. Might solve the unemployment issue amongst men, 18- 50 at the same time.

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